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Gas pipeline project: GAIL expects decision from TN Govt in 10 days 

Richa Mishra Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 24, 2013

Indian Oil Corporation Chairman, R.S. Butola (left), with GAIL CMD, B.C. Tripathi, at the National Editors’ Conference in the capital on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma   -  Business Line

GAIL (India), which is facing the farmers’ wrath in Tamil Nadu, for the Kochi-Kottanad- Mangalore-Bangalore gas pipeline project, is hopeful of reaching a solution shortly.

B.C. Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL, told Business Line at the National Editors’ Conference said that “public hearings have been concluded.The Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu has heard both the farmers and GAIL and we expect a decision in 10 days time.”

Stating that farmers’ apprehensions are misplaced, he said: “We will agree to whatever compensation the State decides. There is an issue related to width of the pipe. We have decided to reduce the width to 20 metre from 30 metre.”

GAIL, which has been facing idling of manpower, machinery and resources, has asked the Tamil Nadu Government to help implement the Kochi-Kottanad-Mangalore-Bangalore gas pipeline project.

Reiterating GAIL CMD’s views, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily said: “we need to understand the importance of natural gas infrastructure. Farm land is not affected by laying a gas pipeline. We are creating a national grid.”

As regards the demand to shift the network along the National Highway, GAIL CMD said pipeline follow the shortest part. “Laying the pipeline along the highways is expensive,” he added.

Petroleum Secretary Vivek Rae said that once expressways come into existence, the alignment by itself with happen. However, it is not possible for highways. Expressways are defined as a major divided highway designed for high-speed travel, having few or no intersections. They are also known as limited access highways.

Pipeline network

Citing the example of the US, Moily said that US has gas pipeline networks of 5 lakh km, whereas India has around 15,400 km. The Minister also appealed for having an open mind when dealing with infrastructure.

The Kochi-Kottanad-Mangalore-Bangalore gas pipeline project will pass through seven districts of Tamil Nadu. The stretch in Tamil Nadu is 310 km.

The project was awarded to GAIL on January 12 last year. Subsequent to award of contract, there were resistances from farmers for laying the pipeline. There were farmers’ apprehension that pipeline will result in loss of agricultural production in future.

Published on March 24, 2013
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